This morning I received playtest materials for a roleplaying game that’s currently in development. I agreed not to redistribute any of the materials I was forwarded except for testing purposes, and I’m going a step further and keeping the actual name of the game to myself as well. Only the gaming group will know.

I’ve skimmed the material so far, and I’ll tell you this (actually, most of what I’ll mention is available on the site I contacted to participate in the playtest) — it uses a modified version of the d20 System in some capacity. I don’t know how much of the final version will however. It has enough that some elements were immediately recognizable.

Now, the scientist in me has already devised a couple scenarios. Because I’m expected to put together a group and actually test the system, there are certain elements that ought to be controlled so the play experience can be evaluated. I’m generating most of the characters ahead of time to speed things along.

Next, I figure I’ll run a fairly combat-heavy adventure, which I believe is referred to as a “meat grinder,” for the purpose of testing the combat mechanics. They’re usually an integral part of the system, especially one based on the d20 System. (If the combat doesn’t work in a d20 spin-off, the game probably won’t go far.)

There are also some really cool background and/or gameplay elements that would delight any game master or player, and as much as I’d love for everyone to choose their own, I figure we’ll be able to provide more useful feedback if we concentrate our efforts on testing specific parts of the game at a time. One background at a time.

We can then rotate through a couple and try a variety of things.